Recent changes to the draft of Wiltshire Council’s Core Strategy are out to a further round of consultation. This follows the planning modifications made by the Council after the previous consultation and those put forward by the government’s planning inspector.
The consultation is now open and runs until Tuesday, May 27.
It is restricted to the changes which can be found on the Schedule of Proposed Modifications. Marlborough’s housing quota is on page 42 – of 155 pages.
The schedule includes the dispersal across the county of the additional 5,000 new homes that need to be built between 2006 and 2026 – community by community.
It is proposed that the total number of new homes to be built during this 20 year period within the Marlborough area is now “approximately 920” (the previous wording said “at least 850”.)
Of these “about” 70 of the extra houses will be built within Marlborough – making a total of “about 680”. None of the extra homes called for by the inspector will be built in the villages of the Marlborough community area.
The main “strategic site” named in the Core Strategy is the Crown Estate land west of the Salisbury Road opposite the business park. This will see 220 new homes built.
There are several issues about this site. They include pipelines running under it, a water collection area and pumping station and water supply to it from the River Kennet and aquifers. Other factors include nearby bat colonies and Marlborough’s deteriorating air quality.
There have been moves by the Town Council to include a hotel in this development – to makle up for ther loss of the Ivy House Hotel.
This is also the land on which the Transition Marlborough report on renewing a rail link to the town wants the new rail station and car park to be built. It is not clear how many houses would be lost to the station and car park and/or the hotel.
And it is certainly not clear where within Marlborough the extra 70 homes as well as those displaced by the station and hotel from the Salisbury Road development, would be built.
Building new homes has clear financial advantages for Wiltshire Council. Under the coalition government’s New Homes Bonus scheme the Council has received for 2014-2015 £10,898,980.
Wiltshire’s total receipts under the New Homes Bonus scheme for the four years it has been running are nearly £25 million. Hotels, stations and car parks do not attract these payments from central government.